On May 8, Professor Diana Leyden, director of the Law School's Tax Clinic, and Professor Miriam Marton, the Law School's William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, will present a panel discussion on "Effectively Communicating with Clients Who Have Health, Learning, or Mental Disabilities or Trauma," as part of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section on Taxation spring meeting. The panel will use video segments taped at the Law School to showcase challenges lawyers have in interviewing and counseling clients with mental illness, learning disabilities and trauma. The scenarios will show the "wrong" way and "better" way to approach these skills for clients who are challenged with these illnesses and disabilities.
Professor Marton will discuss her scholarship in the area of secondary trauma for lawyers who represent clients who are victims of trauma. Professor Leyden is preparing to submit a proposal to the ABA to fund a web based program that will be available to all attorneys. Recent events, including the tragedy of Newton in Connecticut, have exposed many people to the challenges connected with mental illness or trauma. Lawyers are less effective in their jobs if they fail to consider appropriate approaches to working with clients who may have impaired cognitive or social processing problems.